7 Tips for Unplugging and Enjoying Time Off
Although vacations and time off have looked a bit different over the past year, it is still important to take some time for yourself and step away from work. In a world where many of us can virtually work from our phones, it can be hard to take a step away and unplug.
Most people, including myself, find it tough to leave their work in the office and fully enjoy their time away. Unless you’re locking your phone away, having your mobile device likely means you have access to your work – which can be both a blessing and a curse!
Whether you’re heading to the beach, the mountains or gearing up for a “staycation” with the family, taking time to unwind and relax is crucial for your mental health, and can help you get back to work refreshed and recharged. If you’re planning some time away, here are 7 tips for unplugging and enjoying time off.
Take time in the weeks prior to heading out of the office to get ahead on your work as much as you can. Take advantage of technology to plan out and post social media content, send weekly reports, and automate whatever you can to make sure all your ground is covered and that business as usual is operating while you’re gone.
Set Your Out of Office Email
A great way to let people know you aren’t available is to set an out of office email to automatically respond to any emails that come into your inbox. Customize the response to let people know how long you will be away as well as the name and number of who they can contact if their email is urgent. This type of communication is simple and informs your clients, team members and anyone else that you aren’t currently available.
Use the Buddy System
At 898 Marketing, we are urged to take time for ourselves in order to be the best version of ourselves at work. We use “The Buddy System” when we take time off, which means choosing a team member to be the point of contact for anyone that may need us while away. Before we take off, we inform this person of everything that we currently have going on and equip them with the information they would need if a client needed something while we are away. This helps the person taking time off be able to really disconnect and only step in if completely necessary.
Notify Your Clients & Team Members
It’s a good idea to let your clients and team members that you have regular communication with know you will not be available before they find out from your out of office email response. Give these people plenty of time to plan ahead if needed, and get anything they need from you before your vacation begins. Most people will respect your time off and only reach out to you if there is an emergency. Letting people know ahead of time is considerate and helps everyone do their job the best they can.
Turn Off Notifications
It can be hard to disconnect when your emails and notifications are constantly showing up on your phone lock screen. While you’re away, consider turning these notifications off and set aside a small amount of time each day to check them to make sure you aren’t missing anything important or time sensitive. Not having a constant reminder of what you “could” be doing can allow you to truly unplug and enjoy yourself.
Schedule Meetings For When You Return
No matter how much you prepare and work ahead, you will likely have a bit of catching up to do when you return. Before you leave, schedule meetings for when you get back to the office to touch base and get caught up on anything that may have happened while you were away. Also make sure to schedule some time for yourself to sift through what you missed and get organized before meeting with your team members or clients.
Commit to Unplugging
It’s really easy to say you’re not going to work while away, but the hard part is actually doing it. There have been numerous times during past trips that I have just checked “one email” and ended up spending an hour or more on my computer reading emails, messages, social media posts that really could have waited. It can be tempting to get pulled in, but your mental health and productivity will benefit from truly stepping away.
A vacation or any type of time off and a chance to unplug is valuable no matter what type of industry you work in. Taking some time for yourself and your family will benefit both your personal and professional life and will help you continue to be the best version of yourself in all aspects of your life. It is important to remember that you can’t excel at what you do if you are burnt out and that you deserve a break from time to time. Before you plan your next trip, remember these tips to make sure you enjoy your time off to the fullest!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cailyn Chrystal is a Project Manager at 898 Marketing. Cailyn develops strategies and manages implementation of content through social media channels for 898 Marketing and it’s clients, as well as optimization strategies for websites and content. Cailyn is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and a graduate of Duquesne University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Communications.